Zoe M. Wood

About me

I grew up just north of New York City with parents who loved the arts and maintained creative practices in painting and writing. As I pursued my undergraduate degree at Bowdoin College in biology and Latin American studies, I discovered the field of ecology and gained a love for outdoor activities, namely backpacking and surfing, and spent a summer studying the meadow spittlebug and its host plant preferences. Since graduating, I’ve led wilderness trips for middle schoolers, worked on a goat farm, as a naturalist in the Peruvian Amazon, and organized a film photography project highlighting natural history collections and local ecology in Santa Barbara, CA. I am looking forward to starting my Ph.D. after chasing the wildflower bloom up the Pacific Crest Trail this spring and summer!


I am curious about the temporal dimension of climate-driven changes in plant-insect interactions. Varying responses of insects and their host plants to changing climate may have cascading effects on community composition.

Working in natural history collections made me passionate about the role of museums and community science platforms like iNaturalist as valuable data repositories for understanding biodiversity shifts over time. At Davis, I hope to use collected museum specimens, field experiments, and community science data to explore shifts in the phenology of plant and insect life histories in the Anthropocene.


Graduate Group in Ecology
Department of Entomology and Nematology
Briggs Hall 380K
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616 USA


Fellowships and Awards

2022 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP)
2023 Mary DeDecker Botanical Grant ($1000)


Wood, Z.M. and Jones, P.L. 2020. The effects of host plant species and plant quality on growth and development in the meadow spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius) on Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy. Northeastern Naturalist 27(1): 168–185. link